Tank Fugitive Emission Measurement and Control

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Introduction

From pressurized equipment, there are unintentional emissions of vapors/gases. They are known as fugitive emissions. This could be because of leakage, broken equipment, or any other unanticipated mishap. Besides, fugitive emissions occur through evaporation from wastewater treatment or storage tank facilities. Some of the prime fugitive emission sources include compressor seals, flanges, valves, pumps in hydrocarbon service, and pressure relief devices.

This topic will discuss methods to measure fugitive emissions, methods to generate periodical emission reports, fixed roof tanks, external flat floating roof tanks,

The topic also discusses external domed floating roof tanks, internal floating roof tanks, variable vapor space, pressure tanks, types of losses from tanks, standing loss, working loss, etc.

Methods to Measure Fugitive Emissions

Some of the most widely used methods and technologies to detect fugitive emissions in refineries are standard GC with flame ionization detectors, combustion analyzers, photo-ionization detectors, non-dispersive infrared, catalytic bead sensors, portable gas detectors, etc.

Methods to Generate Periodic Emission Reports

A periodic emission report can be generated either by a manual approach or integrated TIMS (tank inventory management system) software. The latter, however, is less demanding and more reliable.

Tank Losses

Two types of losses occur in a storage tank. One is due to the breathing of vapors above the liquid surface, which is called standing loss. The other type occurs during operations and is known as working loss. The total loss is the sum of both types of losses.

Fixed Roof Tanks

This storage tank is inexpensive to construct; however, it is not very widely used for liquid storage. A fixed roof storage tank usually has a dome- or cone-shaped roof.

A cylindrical steel shell is connected to it. It also has a breather valve. A fixed roof tank prevents the release of vapors due to slight variation in liquid level, barometric pressure, or temperature.

Floating Roof Tanks

On the surface of the stored liquid, a floating roof falls or rises according to the liquid level. Here, fugitive emissions are less as compared to fixed roof tanks. Floating roof tanks have three different subcategories, the external floating roof, internal floating roof, and domed external floating roof.

Summary

Underground storage tanks store diesel or gasoline at distribution points, for instance, gas stations. They are much safer and produce minimal emissions. On the contrary, the above-ground storage tanks are installed in industries, and they generate more emissions. As a result, there has been substantial uncertainty in the refinery emission data.

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